After 2020, making predictions is a risky proposition. A year ago, no one saw the pandemic and the economic shutdown coming, so many predictions from 2019 didn’t materialize. However, this year’s challenges drove changes in IT environments, including higher cloud adoption to support remote work and business continuity. It’s a safe bet that many of the cloud trends that gained steam in 2020 will continue into 2021.
As you’re making plans and setting IT priorities for the upcoming year, factor in these cloud trends:
1. Businesses end vendor lock-in.
Fewer organizations will build their strategies around one cloud vendor. Multi-cloud strategies reduce vendor lock-in and can also provide an easier path to regulatory compliance, mitigate risks, and enable teams to take advantage of the best features each cloud environment has to offer. Additionally, more businesses will discover the freedom that containers and microservices provide. Applications developed using these architectures are meant to be portable so that they can run in different computing environments.
Gartner predicts that two-thirds of organizations are on the path to reducing cloud vendor dependency through 2024.
2. CIOs get cloud costs under control.
Getting an invoice for cloud usage that’s way over budget has been an all-too-common occurrence. The problem is cloud costs can be hard to control: Engineers add services without letting the CIO or purchasing know, promotions end and regular costs apply, teams can forget to turn off services they no longer need, and inaccurate forecasting leads to purchasing on-demand capacity at a higher rate. McKinsey estimates that 30 percent of cloud spend is wasted.
Expect overspending and waste to decrease as CIOs implement cost control measures, including continuous monitoring solutions that give businesses the opportunity to intervene when costs begin to escalate, rather than waiting until they receive the bill.
3. Low-latency operations move cloud computing closer to users.
Businesses with low-latency requirements are finding ways to move services closer to users. Geography plays a role in cloud computing – when users are at a distance from the cloud they’re using. The system uses data exchanges to get information to the cloud and back. This can create a delay, albeit usually a second or less. In mission-critical cases, however, that delay can’t be tolerated.
Some strategies to watch are leveraging distributed cloud systems, micro data centers in areas with a high volume of users and systems that combine edge computing with cloud services.
4. Organizations leverage expertise from third-party providers.
Transitioning on-premises infrastructure and applications to a cloud environment and monitoring cloud performance and use takes skill, knowledge, and expertise. A business’ IT staff may not be up to the task – or have time to devote to cloud on top of an already busy workload. Working with a third-party with cloud expertise can help organizations choose the best cloud solutions, plan a successful migration with minimal risks of data loss or security vulnerabilities, help promote user adoption, and maximize ROI.
Is Your Roadmap Taking Your Business in the Right Direction?
The changes necessary to keep operations up and running, such as remote work, automation and the need for greater efficiency, drove many businesses to the cloud in 2020. However, in the rush, some of those implementations may not have been optimized for costs, agility, and performance.
As you get your business ready to hit the ground running in the new year – which may bring its own set of challenges – ensure your business has the support of an optimal cloud environment that can help you be ready for anything. And anything can happen. That’s a prediction we’re definitely comfortable making.